McConnell: Senate will take up North Korea sanctions bill

McConnell: Senate will take up North Korea sanctions bill
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell expects Paul to return to Senate next week Former Hill staff calls for mandatory harassment training Gaming the odds of any GOP tax bill getting signed into law MORE (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that the upper chamber will soon take up sanctions legislation against North Korea after the country claimed it detonated a hydrogen bomb.

"Sen. [Cory] Gardner has been working on a North Korea sanctions bill. We anticipate it will come out of the Foreign Relations Committee very soon, and I intend to schedule floor time on it shortly," he told reporters. 

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The Republican leader met with Gardner, a Colorado Republican, and Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTax Foundation: Senate reform bill would cost 6B GOP senators raise concerns over tax plan Dem House candidate apologizes for saying it 'shouldn't take brain cancer' for McCain to show courage MORE (R-Tenn.), the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, on the issue earlier Tuesday.

McConnell made the comments ahead of an expected House vote this week to approve legislation from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.). That proposal would block North Korea’s access to hard currency and target its assets for nuclear development.

The reported tests from North Korea have sparked bipartisan concern from lawmakers, though the administration has disputed the isolated country's claims. The successful detonation of a hydrogen bomb by North Korea would both violate a United Nations Security Council resolution and mark an increase in the country's nuclear capabilities.

The top members of the Foreign Relations Committee also suggested after a classified briefing with administration officials on Monday evening that they would expect the Senate to take action on sanctions legislation.

Corker said that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have introduced legislation and "so we're going to go through it methodically."

The Tennessee Republican, however, suggested what specific sanctions to enact weren't a focus of the Monday briefing. 

Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinFacebook farce shows lawmaker deviousness, demagoguery Dem senator wants details on Manafort's multiple passports US backs out of global oil anti-corruption effort MORE (D-Md.) said, separately, that he and Corker have already started having conversations to make sure the committee has a sanctions bill.

In addition to Gardner's legislation, Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezIn judge's 2010 Senate trial, Menendez was guilty of hypocrisy Excused Menendez juror: 'I don't think he did anything wrong' We don't need a terrorist attack to know diversity program has to go MORE (D-N.J.), who is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCNN to air sexual harassment Town Hall featuring Gretchen Carlson, Anita Hill Trump wrestles with handling American enemy combatants Flake: Trump's call for DOJ to probe Democrats 'not normal' MORE (R-S.C.) have introduced a proposal to crack down on North Korea. 

The Graham-Menendez bill would expand the administration's ability to sanction property or seize the financial assets of individuals or organizations that aid the North Korean government. 

Menendez said that he is talking with Gardner to see if they can work out their differences and "bring it to the chairman in a bipartisan effort."